News

Macquarie Group Foundation pledges AUD$1 million to Optimise Study

Tracy Parish

08 May, 2020

Burnet Institute welcomes the support of the Macquarie Group Foundation to help fast track the innovative, large-scale, Optimise Study: Optimising Isolation, Quarantine and Distancing for COVID-19.

Burnet Institute Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb AC thanked the Macquarie Group Foundation for their vision and leadership in contributing AUD$1 million towards supporting this critical research.

“Isolation and physical distancing are critical tools in our armoury to suppress COVID-19 transmission. We need to know what is working as we move from lockdown and suppress transmission,” Professor Crabb said.

“Optimising and improving existing public health tools is all we have to control COVID-19 as the brakes come off ‘lockdown’ - there is nothing else to stop infections coming back; not for the next 6-24 months. We have to get this right. The Optimise Study will provide crucial information in this regard.

“We are also grateful too to our partners in this study - the Victorian Government, Department of Health and Human Services Victoria, the Doherty Institute, and University of Melbourne.”

The Optimise Study: Optimising Isolation, Quarantine and Distancing for COVID-19, led by Burnet Deputy Director Professor Margaret Hellard AM, is focused on two key intervention methods to restrict the spread of the virus - isolation/quarantine and physical distancing.

“With this support we can accelerate our development of the Optimise Study to provide the government with timely and high quality data to make precise and impactful policy during the COVID-19 response,” Professor Hellard said.

“Critically over the next 12 months of the response, it is highly likely that there will be no effective vaccine and no effective drug treatments to control the COVID19 epidemic. The global response will need to rely on a combination of public health interventions, combined with thoughtful use of diagnostic testing and key support strategies.”

Evidence from the Optimise Study will also assist community organisations and key health service groups in restoring economic activity and recreational activities whilst keeping new infections of COVID-19 at a low level. This involves real-time testing of key interventions to allow global scaling at speed.

The Macquarie Group has allocated $AUD20 million in charitable donations to the Macquarie Group Foundation to support a select number of non-profit organisations, including Burnet, working to combat COVID-19 and provide relief to affected communities. Find out more.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Professor Margaret Hellard AM

Deputy Director (Programs); Adjunct Professor, Monash University, DEPM.

Telephone

+61385062304

Email

margaret.hellard@burnet.edu.au

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